Logi Circle 2 Review

Logitech Circle 2 Review

Hardware Criteria9.1
Software Criteria8.4
Video Storage8.4
IP Rating / Weatherproofing10
Hands-on Authority and User Reviews6.8
Reader Rating: (1 Rate)5.7

Last year, we took a look at Logi Circle, Logitech's battery-powered security camera. We liked its cameras features (i.e. 1080p resolution, wide viewing angle, decent night vision), but its security features? Not so much. As a "lifestyle" camera marketed toward those looking to "capture special moments," it didn't check the box needed for a reliable security camera. Now, Logitech is back with Logi Circle 2, this time, with security as their top priority.

Logitech Circle 2 Indoor/Outdoor Security Camera

Logitech's camera is a weatherproof indoor/outdoor security camera with wired and wireless versions.

The camera's faceplate remains similar to that of Logi Circle, but its ball-shaped body is no more. What's left is a puck-shaped camera more in the style of Nest Cam Outdoor. However, although they've slimmed down Circle 2, it won't work on its own. It needs to be connected to a Circle 2 mount. There's a variety of mounts for different installation applications. There's a wired mount that allows you to plug in the camera like you would a Nest Cam. There's also a rechargeable battery mount that gives the camera 3 months of battery life, a window mount that lets you set the camera on a window pane, and a plug mount that allows you to plug the camera directly into an outlet and watch over low-lying areas. All of the mounts are sold separately starting at $29.99.

It's notable that Circle 2 is modular. If you order the wireless version, it will ship with the rechargeable battery mount. Should you change your mind and decide to use it as a hardwired camera, simply purchase the wired mount and swap out the battery mount.

Another notable new feature is that it’s weatherproof with an IP65 rating. Logitech claims that it can withstand rain, snow, heat, and cold. Of course, if you live in an area where it gets exceptionally cold, it’s best to check with Logitech before making a purchase. Not many cameras can really withstand cold climates, especially battery-powered ones.

Image & Video Quality

Logitech Circle 2's image quality is also improved over Logi Circle. The resolution remains at 1080p, and it still has automatic night vision via IR LEDs (the kind that makes the image black and white) with a 15-foot range. However, the viewing angle is now 180°.

Take note that Logitech Circle 2's camera features may vary depending on which mount you choose. For example, if you attach Circle 2 to the window mount, the camera will not use its IR LEDs to avoid glare. Instead, it will optimize its ability to capture video in low-light.

Finally, the ability to stream live video is still possible using the smartphone (iOS and Android) app and web app. While live viewing, you can also enable two-way talk.

Logitech Circle 2 To Enhance Home Security

Logitech Circle 2 utilizes the most basic security camera feature: motion detection. However, they've made this feature more intelligent with Smart Alerts. The camera uses machine learning AI to deliver alerts that matter. They have not disclosed how they achieve this (it's not similar to Person Detection, and it doesn't use motion zones), but according to them, the camera knows to alert you when a door is opened but also to leave you alone when a fan is blowing on your curtains.

Smart Alerts are sent to your smartphone as push notifications. When you open the notification, it will take you to a live stream where you can take a snapshot or use two-way voice to potentially scare away intruders. If you're slow responding to the alert, don't worry. Circle 2 comes with limited, free cloud storage so that you can review and even download missed events.

You can also enable Smart Locations, which is basically geofencing to trigger the camera's arm/disarm feature. When you're outside your geofenced area, you'll receive alerts when you're away. When you're home, you won't receive alerts.

Another nifty feature is the Smart Time-Lapse Day Brief, which compacts a whole day's worth of event recordings into a 30-second timelapse clip.

Aside from Smart Alerts and the timelapse feature, Circle 2 offers other smart features. The catch? As with Logi Circle, you'll have to subscribe to Circle Safe Premium, which costs $9.99/month/camera. Doing so will unlock person detection, motion zones, and advanced alert and event filters.

Person detection is Circle 2's ability to distinguish people from other objects while it also further smartens up Smart Alerts. If it sees a person, it will notify you. If it sees a cat, it won't.

Motion zones, on the other hand, allow you to determine which areas of the frame are important. You can have up to five motion zones. If you've set up motion zones, the camera will only alert you if it sees motion within those areas. However, take note that Circle 2 will still record motion events outside motion zones, it just won't notify you about them.

Finally, there's the advanced alert and event filters feature. This feature allows you to customize the alerts you receive and search through recorded clips easily. Full disclosure: we haven't tried this feature, and we don't know how it works, but according to reviews online, it lets you use keywords to search for events (e.g. search "black cat" to see clips that include a black cat).

Privacy Features

Beyond just protecting your home, Circle 2 also protects your privacy and personal identity. For one, each camera is secured by a unique identification process that prevents unauthorized access. Two, all video transfers are done over a secure connection and encrypted using double-layer AES 256 and industry standard security protocols.

Finally, Logitech's cloud is secured and encrypted. While not hack-proof, the multi-pronged encryption process makes it harder to hack the cloud.

Video Storage

Unfortunately, Logitech Circle 2 doesn't include local storage. Instead, it stores event clips and snapshots to the cloud. Logitech offers free cloud storage to all Logitech Circle 2 cameras, allowing users to save videos in the cloud for one day. After a day, the videos will disappear. But don't fret; if there's a clip you want to keep, you can download them to your mobile device or computer and store them locally. Just be sure to do that before the clip expires.

If you want more storage, you can subscribe to either of the two Circle Safe subscription plans: Circle Safe Basic or Circle Safe Premium.

Circle Safe Basic lets you store videos in the cloud for 14 days, but nothing more. Circle Safe Premium allows you to store videos in the cloud for 31 days, gives you access to person detection, motion zones, advanced event and alert filters, and lets you customize your Smart Time-Lapse Day Brief (i.e. customize the length and time span of the timelapse video).

 Circle Free Circle Safe Basic Circle Safe Premium
AES 256 Bit Dual Layer Encryption Storage1 Day 14-Days 31-Days
PriceFree$ 3.99/Month per camera$ 9.99/month per camera
$ 99.99/year per camera
Unlimited Streaming YES
Unlimited Downloads YES
Smart Events & AlertsYES
Timelapse Day Brief YES
Person Detection NO
Motion Zones NO
Advanced Event and Alert Filters NO

Logitech Circle 2 Software

Like most modern security cameras, Circle 2 is accessible using your smartphone or any web-enabled device. The smartphone app is available for iOS and Android Devices. The web app is accessible here.

The iOS app is currently rated 3.7/5 while the Android app is rated 2.9/5. The most common complaint about the camera and the app is that they go offline often.

Compatible Devices

Logitech Circle 2 works well alone, but it's also friendly enough to work with other platforms. For one, it works with Amazon's AI, Alexa. If you have an Amazon Echo or any Alexa-enabled device, you can simply tell Alexa to record videos, arm the camera's sensor, and control most of Circle 2's core features.

Circle 2, along with the original Logi Circle, also works with Echo Show, an Amazon Echo with a screen. You can say "Alexa, show me my front porch" and your Echo Show will conjure up a live feed. Circle 2 is one of the few cameras that integrate with Echo Show, alongside Nest Cam, Ring, and Arlo.

Circle 2 also works with Apple HomeKit, but only if your camera is connected to the wired mount, plug mount, or window mount. The wireless mount is not yet compatible.

Circle's HomeKit integration is still new, so if you have an existing Circle 2 camera, you must first activate the integration by following the instructions found here. Integrating Circle 2 with HomeKit will let you watch live videos using the Home App (HomeKit App), ask Siri to stream videos to your phone, and include Circle 2 in your HomeKit scenes. So far, Circle 2 is only the second HomeKit enabled camera to hit the market alongside D-Link Omna 180.

Finally, you can use your Logitech POP to control your Circle or Circle 2 camera.

A Quick Summary

The second iteration of Logitech's Circle camera retained its simple form but added new security features. It has a wider viewing angle, it can connect to a variety of mounts for different installations, and it's now weatherproof and can work outdoors. One thing to keep in mind is that it's still internet-dependent. While you can place it outdoors, you must ensure that you have a strong Wi-Fi connection. A weak Wi-Fi signal will decrease the camera's battery life as the camera has to work harder to find and maintain a signal.

Although the camera is good, it's not free from downsides. Its smart features (person detection, motion zones, advanced smart alerts, etc.) require a subscription, similar to a Nest Aware's subscription. However, Nest Aware offers more features for the same monthly fee. To be fair, for $10/month you'll get more cloud storage from Circle Safe than Nest Aware. But feature-wise, Nest Aware adds more value.

As mentioned earlier, Logitech Circle 2 comes in two versions.

The wired version kit includes the puck-shaped camera, a wired swivel mount with a 10-foot cable, USB power adapter, a wall bracket, screws, anchors, and cable clips. The kit can be purchased on Amazon (Check latest price).

The wire-free version comes with the camera, a rechargeable battery mount, a swivel base, a 2-foot USB charging cable, a USB power adapter, wall bracket, screws, and anchors. Logitech Circle 2 Wire-Free sells on Amazon (Check latest price).

1 comment

  1. times10 14 August, 2017 at 09:08 Reply

    Anything that requires a subscription to get the full use of is really stupid. Arlo keeps winning by not locking down and 7 DAYs worth of free cloud storage. A side by side of the cost of ownership between the camera sets should be done to show the true cost, setting unique features aside.

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